Senior Fellow



Sam Ricketts

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Sam Ricketts is a senior fellow for Energy and Environment at the Center for American Progress. He focuses on advancing policies to achieve ambitious and equitable climate action and a 100 percent clean energy economy; the climate leadership of U.S. states; and building coalitions across environmental groups, progressive organizations, environmental justice communities, and labor unions.

Ricketts joined CAP after serving as climate director for the presidential campaign of Gov. Jay Inslee (D-WA), where he led climate policy and strategy for a candidate on a mission to confront the climate crisis and to invest in good jobs building a clean energy economy. He now also serves as a co-founder of Evergreen, an organization created by Inslee campaign alumni to continue to deploy the policy, communications, and organizing tools of a political campaign in service to the climate movement.

Previously, Ricketts served as an adviser to Gov. Inslee at the Democratic Governors Association (DGA), in which he helped support state-level climate leaders and solutions throughout the country. He also worked as the director of federal and interstate affairs in Gov. Inslee’s Washington, D.C., office, where he was the governor’s chief liaison with the federal government and fought for the Evergreen state in the nation’s capital. In that role, he helped Gov. Inslee establish the U.S. Climate Alliance and represented the governor in President Barack Obama’s State, Local, and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience.

From 2009 to 2012, Ricketts was the first executive director of the congressional Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition (SEEC)—a caucus formed by then-Rep. Inslee and Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) to promote clean energy and climate action. During his time with the caucus, Ricketts helped to achieve unprecedented federal clean energy investments in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and to pass historic climate legislation. He also led the SEEC’s efforts defending against attacks on the Clean Air Act and attempts to ram through approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

Ricketts has also spent time supporting progressive candidates and causes with the Working Families Party in New York state and has worked on numerous state and federal campaigns. He is a native of Seattle and holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and history from Syracuse University. He lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife and young son.


How States Can Lead on Reducing Harms From Methane Article
View of natural gas compressor; mountains in distance

How States Can Lead on Reducing Harms From Methane

With support from the federal government, state leaders can reduce methane emissions from the oil and gas sector and help the United States meet its climate targets.

Elisia Hoffman, Kirsten Jurich, Hannah Argento-McCurdy, 2 More Chris Chyung, Sam Ricketts

How States and Cities Can Benefit From Climate Investments in the Inflation Reduction Act Report
Wind turbines in West Virginia

How States and Cities Can Benefit From Climate Investments in the Inflation Reduction Act

State and local governments will receive financial and technical support from the Biden administration to help them achieve success under the Inflation Reduction Act, but they must also be prepared to stand up ambitious programs in their communities.

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